More Than My Daiquiri Is Frozen- NCL Jewel Day 1
Written by: Kuki
Whenever I get the opportunity to sail out of New York, past Ground Zero, past Ellis Island, and past the amazing Statue of Liberty I get “goose bumps”, and today was no different. The exception was my “goose bumps” from all the emotion had their own goose bumps; it was so frickin cold. I’m Canadian and am used to a certain degree of insane cold on occasion, but by sail-a-way our luggage hadn’t been delivered, so I couldn’t layer everything I had packed, in order to wear all the clothing I brought with me, to withstand going on to the balcony to watch us sail past Liberty in comfort.
As we sailed out of the Hudson River and into open waters it became obvious by my inability to walk a straight line, though I’d yet to have a drink, and the similar affliction of the other guests I encountered around the ship that god had turned on the Jacuzzi jets in the Atlantic Ocean. I normally write all my material at the end of the day when I return to the cabin; sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. This is the first time I have been unable to do so and why today’s blog is late.
I slid along the hallways and handrails, making my way to our aft cabin, a Romance Suite on Deck 10. With the best intentions to write before retiring, but my choice became whether to use my hands to hold on the chair, or write from the floor that I would certainly fall on if I didn’t hold on. My choice was to feel my way to bed, and attempt to sleep off the rough seas; to heck with all of the readers waiting world-wide to hear my every word. For safety reasons I made the decision that the both of you could wait.
When we left our Manhattan hotel this morning about 11:45 A.M. it was chilly and raining elephants and donkeys (in honor of the US elections). Fortunately our taxi driver, who claimed he’d been driving a taxi in NYC for 12 years, said he’d never had a fair to the New York Passenger Terminal. (Fortunate because the pier is about six or 8 blocks away, and he’d have been mad getting such a short fare in these conditions).
We were pleasantly surprised when arriving at the terminal; the entire area was under covered structure. We didn’t have to get wet, before entering the terminal for check in, nor did our luggage get soaked after we turned it over to the porters.
The time was shortly after Noon and none of the check in line ups seemed very long at all. It all seemed quite organized and efficient. Being Romance Suite guests had us follow the signs for suite and Penthouse Guests, and moments later we were checked in, and then escorted to the VIP lounge, from where shortly thereafter we’d be escorted on to the ship when boarding started; which was about 12:45 P.M.
I took a quick stroll through those passengers sitting in the main terminal waiting area to see if I might spot some of the folks in our CruiseMates group, and as I was heading back to the VIP lounge I did get a great surprise! As they were heading to a check in counter I ran into old CruiseMates friends “Tweety” and “The Coot”, Florida friends who I think have done more of our CruiseMates Group Cruises than I have. I had no idea they were booked on the cruise, they were going to surprise me, and they did. I love cruising with them because they are so much fun, and Harry (the Coot) is way too much fun because he’s a caricature of a “Joe the Plumber’s crotchety grand-father”.
At any rate we later all made it on to the ship, and at first glance the Jewel appears to be in as fine a shape as when we sailed her in 2007!
After the muster drill several of us agreed to meet on our great aft balcony for sail-a-way past the Statue of Liberty. It was a terrific view but cold enough that I felt my nipples would crack and fall off is someone bumped into me. We tolerated the cold because, even as a Canadian, for me, sailing past the Statue of Liberty is still an emotional experience. We were honored when Alex, the Concierge, Julienne, the Hotel Director, and Matt, the Assistant Hotel Director joined us as well, to also freeze their nipples.
There’s some NCL coupon books I have for those in the CruiseMates group, and with those in hand 6 of made reservations to dine in LeBistro this evening at 7 P.M. The book had a coupon for 2 for 1 dining at any alternate restaurant the first night, so the cost would be $15/couple rather than per person.
Within our group of 6, everyone chose a soup; either the French Onion, or my favorite, the Mushroom Soup, in the Sourdough Bread Bowl, and for entrees everyone chose the beef tenderloin or the lamb. By what was left on everyone’s plates it appeared a family from Darfur had dined there this evening. The food was mouthwatering, tender, tasty, and GONE! As good a shipboard meal as I can recall on any ship we’ve sailed quite honestly. My only negative experience in regard to dinner was the service, though not inattentive, was sluggish. We were hoping to get through the meal in time to catch the 9 P.M show of the Comedian in the showroom, but after only 2 course, and 1hr and 55 minutes, we were forced to choose between desert and the comedian. I’m sure you couldn’t have guessed that desert won us over. And it was certainly amazingly enjoyable. I shared the fruit and chocolate fondue, and it is sinful! I can laugh any night, but at my age how often do I get to sin any more.
As we’d missed the show I headed to the casino to play some blackjack. As the motion of the ocean increased, the somewhat sparse crowd in the casino lightened even further. The casino staff had to be juggled several times as some began looking that pale shade of white so familiar to those of us who’ve seen sea-sickness before. About midnight I set out to bounce along the walls, and return to my cabin, and on the way, saw very few people out and about. They must have already have been tucked in their beds, with seat belts firmly attached.
My intent was good; I was going to get to the cabin, load some pictures and write my blog, but I couldn’t look at my keyboard as it kept moving with the waves. I decided I’d best head to be before I had a keyboard to clean.
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Posted: October 29th, 2008 under Kuki.